September 2021: Please join us in welcoming Dr. Martin Clark to the Department of Geology.  Dr. Clark is funded by the Hans Merensky Foundation to develop drone-based remote sensing for addressing mineral exploration, mining, and groundwater management problems in South Africa.  His research group, the Merensky Group for Airborne Geological Image Classification (MAGIC), represents a new area of study for the Department.  

August 2021: Scientists at the UFS are making good progress with the logging of drill cores forming part of the Bushveld ICDP project. For a status update on the project, click here.

February 2021: Ms Rinae Makhadi receives confirmation that she has been honoured by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) for her involvement in the Khothatsa Project. 

December 2020: The Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) makes its Geoskills course available for online access to all interested parties. Students are encouraged to make use of this free opportunity

6 October 2020: Dr Matthew Huber and Dr Martin Clark are announced as the winners of the UFS Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards in the category "Technology Enhanced Learning" for their innovative approach to ensure student engagement among third-year students who conducted field work in the Vredefort Dome. 

August 2020: Entries are open for the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 3-minute thesis competition. Click here for details on how to enter. 

November 2019: Dr Matthew Huber is informed that he has obtained a Y2 rating from the National Research Foundation.

19-25 October 2019: Honours Economic Geology students attended their annual field school where they were exposed to a variety of geological environments and mining operations including an active deep drilling site in the Free State gold field, the Sheba gold mine, the Dorstfontein East coal mine, the Nkomati nickel mine, the Barberton Geotrail, the Kaapsehoop escarpment, the Lone Creek Falls and the Golden Gate National Park.

9-11 October 2019: Several staff members attend the "Deposits of the Northern Cape Province" mini-conference organised by the Geological Society of South Africa.

28 September-3 October 2019: Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva attends the Large Meteorite Impacts and Planetary Evolution VI Conference at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, where she presents a talk titled "Twisted kink bands: New shock deformation microstructure zircon from the Vredefort impact structure" as part of a workshop on the use of electron backscatter diffraction and its applications for geochronology.

27-30 August 2019: Ms Megan Purchase, the department's Analytical Scientist, attends the 15th Biennial Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits conference at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where she presents a paper titled "Remediation of cyanide within gold mine waste: an in-depth review of Prussian blue in aqueous solutions". 

15-19 July 2019: The department's newly appointed HOD, Prof Bisrat Yibas, attends the International Mine Water Association Conference in Perm Russia, where he presents a paper titled "Acid mine drainage potential prediction through geochemical assessment for a small-scale coal mine project in South Africa".

8 July-19 July 2019: Mr Pelele Lehloenya, the department's Technical Officer, visits the Central Analytical Facility of the University of Stellenbosch to be trained on mineral separation techniques, including heavy liquid separation, CL image analysis and zircon picking and mounting. 

14 June 2019: Research supported through a UFS interdisciplinary grant to staff of the Department of Geology, the Department of Anthropology, and the Institute for Groundwater Studies showcased by Newsweek.

11 June 2019: A grant of US$1.5-million is made by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme (ICDP) to conduct scientific drilling on the Bushveld Complex. This follows the submission of a proposal in January by a group of international scientists under coordination of researchers from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of the Free State and the Friedrich-Alexander University.

12 March 2019: Dr Matthew Huber departs for the United States to attend the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas. 

7 March 2019: The Department accepts delivery of a new Rigaku ZSX Primus IV X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer with elemental mapping capabilities. 

22 February 2019: Profs Willem van der Westhuizen, Frederick Roelofse and Ms Justine Magson depart for the 5th Volcanic Geology Workshop presented by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior at Massey University, New Zealand. 

November 2018: The Department of Geology acquired a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone which will be used for research, teaching, and outreach. Specific applications will include the development of techniques for the extraction of geological information from aerial imagery, primarily for mining and groundwater exploration (see video here). Drone applications are being driven by Dr Martin D Clark.

Dr Martin Clark Drone

30 September-6 October 2018: Honours students visit the Northern Cape Province to learn more about its geology and the exploitation of and exploration for Fe-ore, diamonds and industrial minerals.

22-27 July 2018: Drs Matthew Huber and Elizaveta Kovaleva attend the 81st Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Moscow, Russia.

27 June-6 July 2018: Several staff members attend and present their work at the 13th International Platinum Symposium and Wager & Brown Workshop held in Polokwane, South Africa.

1 June 2018: Prof Marian Tredoux attends a workshop in celebration of the naming of 3 new minerals by staff members of the Eugen F. Stumpfl Electron Microprobe Laboratory at the University of Leoben, Austria. Here she can be seen with six colleagues, all of which have been honored by minerals having been named after them. In the front, from left to right is Prof Marian Tredoux (tredouxite), Anna Vymazalova (vymazalovaite) and Federica Zaccarini (zaccariniite). In the back, from left to right is Luca Bindi (lucabindiite), Giorgio Garuti (garutiite), Ian Plimer (plimerite) and Oskar Thalhammer (thalhammerite).


22-23 May 2018: Prof Marian Tredoux presents a workshop on the Economic Mineral Deposits of South Africa to staff and students at Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

13 May 2018: Prof Freddie Roelofse departs for Windischeschenbach (Germany) to attend a three-day training course presented and funded by the International Continental Drilling Programme (ICDP).


11 May 2018: Third-year students visit the Big Hole Museum in Kimberley as part of Igneous Petrology 3714 to study the geology of kimberlites, diamonds and mantle xenoliths.

4 May 2018: Staff and students take part in the department's 3-minute "Flash Fact" competition. Mr Ryan Nel wins the student competition and Dr Matthew Huber the staff competition. They will compete against other departments of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on 5 and 6 June 2018.

26 April 2018: Honours mineralogy students depart for the Northern Cape on their annual field school.

3 April 2018: Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva departs for Vienna to conduct research with collaborators and to attend the EGU General Assembly, where she will also be presenting some of her recent research. Dr Kovaleva's travels will be supported by a travel award to the tune of 800 Swiss Francs from the journal Minerals.  

2 April 2018: Honours students depart for the Northern Cape to conduct structural geological mapping in Upington and Pofadder.

18 March 2018: Dr Matthew Huber leaves for the 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, to present some of his recent findings on the Vredefort structure.

January 2018: Following negotiations between the University of the Free State and the University of Johannesburg, the Department of Geology becomes a collaborating partner of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA), jointly hosted by the Department of Geology at the University of Johannesburg and the School of Earth Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. 

4 December 2017: A delegation from the East China University of Technology visits our department in order to discuss the offering of joint degree programmes, student and staff exchanges, and collaborative research opportunities.


19 September 2017: Prof Marian Tredoux, associate professor in our department, is honoured for her contributions to our understanding of the Bon Accord NiO body in the Barberton greenstone belt, by the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification through naming a newly discovered mineral from the Bon Accord body "tredouxite". The new mineral has the formula NiSb2O6 and was proposed to the commission by an international group of scientists including Prof Duncan Miller, affiliated professor in our department. 

9 September 2017: Honours students depart on their annual Economic Geology excursion across the Kaapvaal Craton during which they will be exposed to the geology and mining of various commodities including PGEs (Rustenburg), Sn (Zaaiplaats), Cu and apatite (Phalaborwa), talc and Au (Barberton). 

22 August - 25 August 2017: Mr Sizwe Nkehli presents an introductory Leapfrog course to staff and postgraduate students.

31 July 2017: Ms Jarlen Beukes, PhD student of Prof Chris Gauert and Dr Freddie Roelofse, returned from a two-week NRF-funded visit to the laboratory of Dr Iain McDonald at Cardiff University, where she obtained PGE data on samples from the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex.

21 June 2017: Mr Photis Kalpakiotis was announced the winner of the Haughton Award of the Geological Society of South Africa for the best honours thesis from a South African university for 2016, with a thesis entitled The Mapping and Structural Analysis of the Putsies Migmatite. The study was conducted under the supervision of Prof Wayne Colliston.

June 2017: Former honours student in the department, Ms Tshiamo Legoale, is announced the FameLab International Champion at the Cheltenham Science Festival held in the UK over the period 6-11 June 2017, with her research on the use of wheat to harvest gold from mine dumps. 

April 2017: Drs Matthew Huber and Elizaveta Kovaleva attended the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, where the latter won the EGU photo contest with a photo entitled "Movement of the ancient sand".

10 March 2017: Mr Stuart Bateman (INNOVX Systems) will be sharing their latest developments in portable X-ray equipment with staff and third-year geochemistry students.

8 March 2017:
The annual Honours Plate Tectonics Showcase at which honours students will be presenting their work will be held in the Albert Wessels Auditorium from 09:00-13:00. All interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend.

November 2016:
Dr Chris Gauert (affiliated researcher with the Department of Geology) and Dr Freddie Roelofse (Head of Department) obtain National Research Foundation C3 and Y2 ratings, respectively.

September 2016: Several staff members and postgraduate students of the department attended the 35th International Geological Congress that was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 August to 2 September 2016, with no less than eleven conference contributions being made.


31 August 2016: Dr Freddie Roelofse attended a function hosted by the Consul General of France in Cape Town on the occasion of the 35th International Geological Congress.

July 2016: Ms Jarlen Beukes, PhD student of Prof Chris Gauert, has received funding to attend the 13th International Ni-Cu-PGE Symposium that will be held in Perth from 5-9 September 2016. She will be presenting a paper entitled Sulphide and PGE distribution in the "Flatreef" at Turfspruit, Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, South Africa.

June 2016: Mr Pelele Lehloenya, MSc student of Dr Freddie Roelofse, returned from a three-week visit to the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC, where he conducted in-situ (LA MC-ICPMS) Sr-isotopic determinations on plagioclase from the Bushveld Complex.

12 April 2016: Mr Colin Rice presented a drilling practice course to all honours students in the honours laboratory.

9 March 2016: The annual Honours Plate Tectonics Showcase at which honours students will be presenting their work will be held in the Equitas Building from 09:00-13:00. All interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend.

7-8 March 2016: Prof Jock Harmer (Rhodes University) will be presenting a short course on 'Carbonatites: Markets, mineral exploration and rare-earth elements'. The course is compulsory for all honours students.

January 2016: Dr Elizaveta Kovaleva, postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Geology, wins the prize for the best presentation by a PhD student at the annual Igneous and Metamorphic Studies Group (IMSG) meeting hosted by the University of Cape Town with a talk entitled 'The geometric relationship of plastically-deformed zircon grains with the kinematic framework of a shear zone'.

July 2015: Ms Bianca Kennedy, MSc student of Prof Marian Tredoux, awarded with the Corstorphine Medal and John Handley award of the Geological Society of South Africa for her dissertation entitled 'Investigation of the possibility of platinum-group element clusters in magmatic systems using synthetic sulphide melt'.

20 April 2015: Course presented by Mr Colin Rice: 'An introduction to drilling'. The short course is compulsory for all honours students.


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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